Around the World (Wide Web)

Phillip Barnett —  May 31, 2011

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: The Mike Brown Era officially begins Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m., when he’s introduced to the media at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. Don’t expect to be dazzled with wit or one liners. As’s Brian Windhorst told us in a recent podcast, Brown isn’t someone who wins press conferences. Disappointing for us– when you cover them for a living, having people at the center looking to “win” is welcome– and perhaps for you, too. No question, L.A. as a city values entertainment and personality, something the guy Brown replaces certainly understood. Just one of the many ways in which the times they are a’ changin’.

From Mike Trudell, Just logically it’s going to affect anyone that doesn’t participate in training camp. It all starts there. Coming into camp, we’re still doing rehab, so Kobe was behind all the time and could never really catch up, which has something to do with the surgery, something to do with the sheer miles of wear and tear and the attrition the game has on him. So when we do look at an entire season, we look at how what what we’re doing in October and how that will affect the player in February, March, April and so on. There’s no exact science to it, but it’s about having a feel for an NBA season and that player … and I’ve had Kobe since he was 17. He and I operate on another plane together where there’s trust, and he knows his body quite well, so through that we decided we had to hold him back from practices to look at the longer term. We didn’t want to leave what he had on the practice floor, so we could have it for games. And of course that was not ideal.

From John Krolik, Heat Index: The first three rounds of the playoffs put a lot of misgivings people had about the Heat to bed. Yes, they can beat elite competition. No, they won’t back down against a physical opponent. Yes, they can close out games — and LeBron James can close out games like nobody’s business. Yes, Chris Bosh is a legitimate third star, if not a superstar. And yes, the Heat have more than three players they can count on. Those are the questions the Heat have answered through their first 15 playoff games. In order to take home a championship, they will have to answer one more. The Heat got through the Eastern Conference by playing Eastern Conference basketball — tough, low-scoring games that came down to the wire and demanded that each player on the floor give it his all. In order to beat the Western Conference champs, the Heat will have to do something they didn’t have to do when they dispatched the 76ers, Celtics and Bulls — and this last thing is the first thing people assumed they would do when LeBron announced he was taking his talents to Miami nearly one full year ago:

From Ian Levy, Two Man Game: As a Finals matchup between the Mavericks and the Heat appeared possible, then probable, then certain, the story of a chance at redemption rose to the surface. The Heat’s victory over the Mavericks in 2006 has been The Elephant in The American Airlines Center the past five seasons, and a Finals rematch against the Heat would seem to give the Mavericks a chance to atone for previous shortcomings. If this redemption becomes reality, it will mostly be at the organizational level; only four players from that 2006 series — Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem — will be returning for their original teams. The legacy of each has continued to build on the foundation of the 2006 Finals, and will be, in large part, determined by what happens in this year’s Finals. However, the later chapters of several other NBA stories will be written in this series, stories that have little or nothing to do with the initial Finals matchup between the Mavericks and Heat.

From Mark Medina, LA Times: It’s surely a weird feeling for Laker fans today, firing up their grills, hitting the beach and honoring the veterans that make our country safe. That’s because for the first time in three years, the Lakers aren’t still playing basketball and competing for an NBA championship. Surely, Laker fans will still have plenty to talk about, such as the hiring of Mike Brown, who will have an introductory press conference Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. But there won’t be the prospect of being able to watch a Laker playoff game on television like in years past. It’s always a good thing for Laker fans if their team is still playing through Memorial Day, but a look back at some of the Lakers’ performances on that holiday doesn’t always spark a lot of good memories. Below the jump are a look at the Lakers’ 2-2 record in Memorial Day playoff games.

From Mark Medina, LA Times: This scene didn’t come from a sports talk show, although it would’ve made for riveting television. It was from Abdul-Jabbar’s documentary, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” a 90-minute movie narrated by Jamie Foxx that focuses on the Harlem Rens (also known as the New York Renaissance) and the effect of that basketball team both on the sport and society. When Russell touted his 11 championship rings and claimed superiority over any former or modern NBA center, including the Captain himself, West immediately intervened and argued Abdul-Jabbar would’ve blocked Russell’s shots. When West brought up the Lakers’ five NBA titles in the Showtime Era during the 1980s, Reinsdorf argued that that accomplishment paled in comparison with the Bulls’ six NBA championships in the 1990s. And when Reinsdorf boasted that Scottie Pippen limited Magic Johnson in the 1991 NBA Finals, West then argued the outcome would’ve been different if Abdul-Jabbar hadn’t retired in 1989.

Phillip Barnett


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  1. I’m a huge basketball fan as such I’m extremely excited to see this superstar team on the Finals stage. Not since the 80’s Lakers has a Finals team been so loaded. I love watching great basketball… It will be interesting to see if a squad can take the Heat past five games in a series, something that hasn’t been done yet.

    I’m worried Dallas wont have much of a shot at extending this series. Dallas doesn’t have on individual defender to guard LeBron, Wade, or Bosh. Conversely the Heat have four players that can guard Dirk in Bosh, Haslem, Anthony and LeBron.

    The key is Miami’s ability to realize Wade has to be guarding JJ Barea. JJ is the guy who creates offense for the Mavs spot up shooters by getting into the paint. Wade will shutdown Barea… But will he be guarding him? The NBA Chamoionship is at stake.


  2. Aaron-
    I have to disagree with you on saying that not since the 80’s Lakers has there been such a loaded team. I’ll take Jordan, Pippen and Rodman over LeBron, Wade and Bosh and I would say their role players were better than the Heat’s are.

    Also, when the Celtics had their big 3 healthy (Pierce, Garnett and Allen) I believe their team was stronger than this Heat team with the role players that they had (Rondo, P.J. Brown, James Posey).


  3. Question for discussion. During this transition period from Jerry to Jim, what are realistic expectations and signs to assure rational (I know I’m asking a lot) fans that Jim is at least competent and will follow a similar philosophy to Jerry.

    I think at this point, that’s all we can ask for is a competent and similar management style. It’s unfair to start projecting future failures or success until we see further developments. Although the Laker organization has seen tremendous success under Jerry Buss, there has also been a certain amount of luck, as there always is when it comes to winning.

    So, how do we read the tea leaves and determine if Jim is a competent successor and have a management style conducive to success?


  4. Myron (from the previous post)
    “I’m going to have to figure out the over/under of how many times I’ll be yelling at the TV, tellilng Coach to sit down and let them play.”

    Sounds like a great idea for a drinking game!!


  5. 2)
    I’ll make this simple and sweet. Jordan and Rodman were past their primes with Dennis at this point only concerned with rebounding. As far as the 08 Celtics… All three were past their primes without one player as good as LeBron or Wade.


  6. I’d still take the 2001 lakers team, that lost one singular playoff game, over any team from this year or within this last decade. That’s when both shaq and Kobe were ridiculously good on the court.

    Miami would have had to use Zydrunas, which would screw up their five mand rotation and destroy their defensive fortitude. Would have been a fun series to watch.

    Nevertheless, I really don’t know how Dallas got as far as they did. I look at their roster and marvel…. They have no true post players, no elite athletes, no lockdown defenders (well maybe Marion) and really a team of jump shooters. It is very bizarre to me.

    Though don’t expect Bosh to dominate this series, Dirk likes to play defense in the areas that Bosh likes to get the ball.

    And Miami’s defense will look much different against a team that can actually shoot, as in they faced three teams who often ran into serious trouble offensively (celtics had to play the offensively inept Rondo, pacers were the pacers, and the Bulls had no reliable shooters, including Rose).


  7. 5)

    I wouldn’t call any starter on the 1995-1996 Bulls past their primes. While Michael was no longer a high flyer he was still a lethal scorer. Him, Rodman, and Pippen were a better defensive trio then than Wade, LeBron, and Bosh are now. Defense is half the game and those guys were much better defenders.


  8. Mike Brown’s news conference was impressive!


  9. 8)
    Don’t know how to respond to that. Miami is the best defensive team in the league and Jordan and Rodman were still fantastic… But unquesionably past their primes based on everything currently used to measure basketball.


  10. I can’t wait to see who’s gonna take the championship. It’s hard to predict since both teams are doing good in this series. This is gonna be an exciting game.


  11. Yeah!! NBA is really an exciting game and so as the fans are excited too. I wanna watch it every of this game.